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With County Signoff, Broad Museum One Step from Official Approval

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, at 11:51AM
Grand Avenue Parcel L Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Philanthropist Eli Broad’s proposed art museum got the third of four required approvals on Tuesday as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the plan that would place the structure next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall and across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Colburn music school.

The museum, which would be called the Broad Collection, would contain 30,000 to 35,000 square feet of exhibition space, as well as offices, storage and a bookstore that could be shared by MOCA.

When the proposal went before the Community Redevelopment Agency board in July, MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch praised the idea.

“The works in the Broad collection dovetail almost perfectly with the museum collection,” he told the agency commissioners.

Broad will provide the $80 to $100 million needed for construction and a $200 million endowment for the museum.

In January, blogdowntown was first to report that Broad was considering Grand Avenue as a possible museum site. The former housing developer had previously been in talks with Beverly Hills and Santa Monica about potential locations. Officially the Santa Monica option remains open, but on Tuesday Broad told Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website that Downtown was a definite. “Absolutely it’s coming to this site,” Broad told the site.

Broad has been involved in many of the large projects that have taken place on Grand Avenue. He was a major backer of the Disney Concert Hall, a founder of MOCA and one of originators of the concept for the Grand Avenue Project, which was one of Downtown’s most anticipated developments before the market turned.

His museum could become the second piece of that project to break ground. While the larger development plans have been stalled and in search of construction financing, work did get underway last month on the $56-million renovation of the Civic Center Park that is being funded by developer fees paid several years ago by the Related Companies.

The museum proposal will now be considered by the Grand Avenue Authority on Monday. Reports are that he will also announce his choice for architect at that time.

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